I never understood remixes. My literary background had me believing in ultimate, untouchable forms. Any rework or editing is a step toward that final draft. Not to say that I don't enjoy a good remix when I hear one. But now that I think about it, I am fascinated by this open and pliant nature of the song—something counter to literature, in particular the tyrannical art of poetry.
Erol Alkan is making me think about it. Sometime in 2012, six years since its release, I don't feel like dancin' found its way to my player, looped for weeks. Five more years passed till I discovered Alkan's Carnival of light rework. What I heard was something subdued but exciting. How he stretched a pleasant moment, toyed with it, built on it. And when I thought it would simply go on for ever—which I didn't mind—he brought the best bit of lyrics out, leaving me with nostalgic aftertaste.
This month he shared a playlist containing songs in his "Reworks Volume 1" compilation. W…
From where I sit there's a garden. My eyes on greens and skyward. "Thank you for waiting," says the woman laying down my lunch.
"No, no. I enjoyed the wait."
Inside I'm dancing. If it's any good, a dance song will make you move, and move you while you're sat on a chair, waiting.
Except for flights, meetings and meet-ups, I always arrive late.
Taking my meals this way is the only luxury I can afford. I see to it that I arrive early. To think, to read, to gaze out the window if I were lucky to have that seat. Sometimes I write. Sometimes nothing. If I were truly lucky, I was waiting for you.
Dinner isn’t food on plate, it’s the only real thing that’s also an escape.
(Inspired by Connan Mockasin's Forever dolphin love and the sleeve art Connan made himself for the Erol Alkan rework of the song. Samurai gourmet has also greatly influenced the opening fragment.)
But Nalick has a distinct kind of magnetism, marked by something sexy and poetic and messy at the same time. Her voice is pained but never vulnerable, powerful when quiet yet cracks open an entire world when climbing high notes. She is one of the few lyricists whose words make me pay attention.
When Aura hit Soundcloud earlier, I got excited right away. I just knew that the album would be good. I trusted in the artist, and that time and age would do the trick.
Alain Passard talks obsessively about gestures in Chef's table – France. It's the first time I've heard someone bring that up as a crucial element — if an element at all — in any discipline.
When I was a child, I would mimic adults in unglamorous professions: the cashier swiping a product under a scanner, then hitting a few keys from the till before punching the big one that opens a drawer of cash; or the bus conductor thumbing through a bundle of tickets (the working thumb covered in rubber), after-which reaching for his pouch for loose change.
I didn't know exactly what they were doing back then — how the tickets were counted or what the other buttons on the cash register were for; but seeing them so confident in their actions drew me in. It was their expert gestures that compelled me to imitate them.
"Slicing a shallot can be done 25 different ways. However there is that one gesture to which we can add that elegance, that love," says Passard. Apparently, h…
David Harrower’s Blackbird takes us right smack in the middle of harsh reality: the office pantry. Suspended fluorescent tubes illuminate a small room, which centerpiece is a long plastic table. Cardboard boxes everywhere. No porcelain, only paper cups. In one corner, trash has managed to spill from a tall bin. All these add up to a hyperreal set that is eerie yet captivating.
Enter a young woman and an older man, dressed like everybody else in the audience — in boring ready-to-wear, maybe soiled by earlier fits of clumsiness or by fresh transgressions. The difference is that our mess are hidden in theater dark, while theirs are exposed by light.
Una and Ray engaged in a sexual affair when the former was 12 and the latter was 40. The relationship lasted for three months and its end meant jail time for the gentleman. Fifteen years later, Una stumbles upon a photo of a smiling Ray on a magazine, compelling her to track him down. Now they meet again as Una finds Ray in his workplace, liv…
That was a long first act. When Berger (Michael Schulze) introduced himself—his version of a handshake: asking a kind lady to hold the trousers he just took off—I thought we were off to a good start. Schulze's frenetic ways were captivating, and his openness, infectious. There's a hippie, I said to myself.
Excitement, however, dissolved into dizzying confusion. Tribe leader, Claude (Markki Stroem) entered with faux—not to mention annoying but maybe that was the point—Manchester accent, and Sheila (Caisa Borromeo) convinced everyone that she believes in love. Tried to. More tribe members walked onto and away from center-stage, dropping a thought or two about life, sex, war, race, pills, grass, hair... They rambled on and on until the curtains closed for intermission.
Repertory Philippines culminates its 50th anniversary celebrations with 1960's musical, Hair, directed by Chris Millado. For someone who hasn't seen any of the show's previous incarnations, Hair appe…
My previous job at an online publication allowed me to interview, and that generally means discover fictionists from the US. One of them was Paula McLain. From the get-go (you know, her aura) I knew that I'd like her. The woman invited respect in me. At some point in our conversation I made a mental note to check out her books. It's her education. It showed. And I must've had this affinity with her because she started out as a poet.
I hadn't read YA in while, so I bought A ticket to ride, thinking here's a perfect chance to revisit the genre; plus, it's her debut novel. The story took forever to take off — and frankly it wasn't hinging on a good plot but rather on atmosphere and a sort of teenage mystique — but I hung on and enjoyed the ride anyway because of said mood and mystery. I finished it without that rewarding feeling, though I wasn't exactly disappointed as well. If anything it served as a charming sampler.
18. “The way to get things done [is] to go ahead and do them. Don’t talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens,” says Richard in the Alex Garland novel, The Beach. That bit didn’t need underlining; it was stuck in my head since. For the longest time I dreamed of traveling to Japan and of taking a proper vacation: something completely mine, well-planned but also aimless. I never thought that I had the resources nor the guts to fly to a land which language I don’t speak, until Justice announced a world tour, with appearances at Summer Sonic 2017.
19. Last April, Coachella streamed Justice’s full set, giving me a taste of Woman Worldwide. What I digested was theater, where each element — may it be aural, visual, lexical — meant something to another element to another element. Everyone talked and will talk about the lights: because they don’t just dazzle, they communicate.
20. Once you hear the live version of a Justice song, you’ll forget about t…
‘I want to do something different, and everybody wants to do something different. But we all do the same thing. There’s no…’
Because I associate the word with popular books and movies, adventure signifies something exciting, with an element of mystery, risk and danger. It is ultimately safe, because with books and movies, even if it does not reach a positive conclusion, I, the audience, am physically removed from the harms pervading the narrative.
In the Alex Garland novel, the first adventure is getting to—and therefore proving the existence of—‘the beach’, a mythical island-paradise in Thailand; the second is living there; and the third, leaving.
In life, not as clear-cut.
So the beach is real, alive with a small community that keeps it habitable to the few of them who discovered the place and decided it was theirs to call home.
The trick is how to keep the secret Eden from the rest of the world. With how the book ends, it can’t be done. If anything, I gather…